Earlier this year, Intel was criticized for allegedly keeping the USB 3.0 spec to itself in a bid to lock customers into its chipsets. Such a move had many worried of a forking of the spec, with Nvidia, AMD, VIA and others threatening to co-develop a more open USB 3.0.
Intel, of course, denied those claims and today helped dissipate concerns over potential multiple versions of the standard by making a royalty-free draft specification available to its competitors. The Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) draft specification for the USB 3.0 architecture (also known as SuperSpeed USB) will allow chipset makers to develop hardware that can communicate with USB 3.0 system software in a standardized way.
Support for the new specification appears to cover all the major players, including AMD, Dell, Microsoft, NEC and Nvidia. This is very important to stimulate adoption by consumers and should mean product development using USB 3.0 will soon be underway. The new standard will offer ten times the bandwidth of its predecessor, USB 2.0, supporting data-transfer speeds of up to 4.8Gbps.